After shelling out a reported $25 million to acquire the company in 2016, CNN is shutting down Beme, the video-sharing app started by YouTube star Casey Neistat, BuzzFeed reports.
“CNN had big plans for Neistat, a viral online filmmaker, envisioning him as a sort of digital Anthony Bourdain who could bring a new generation of news consumers into the cable news channel’s fold,” BuzzFeed reports. “But now Beme, which CNN had hoped to fashion into an independently operated daily online news program, is effectively shutting down.”
CNN confirmed today that it is parting ways with both Neistat and his Beme co-founder Matt Hackett.
“In an interview with BuzzFeed News, Neistat spoke candidly about his inability to figure out a viable strategy for ‘Beme News,’ which CNN had intended to become a central part of its digital business,” BuzzFeed reports. “Instead, Neistat said he slowly, and frustratingly, distanced himself from his own company, retreating into what he knew best — producing videos for his personal YouTube channel.”
The report quotes Neistat saying: “I couldn’t find answers. I would sort of disappear, and I would hide, and I would make YouTube videos for my channel because at least I would be able yield something. I don’t think I’m giving CNN what I want to give them, and I don’t think they’re getting value from me.”